Magistrate court rules Baba Ijesha to remain in detention till July 13

Yaba Magistrate court in Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday extends the detention period of Nollywood actor Olarenwaju James AKA Baba Ijesha.

Baba Ijesha is said to appear at High Court for his trial till July 13, 2021.

Police arrested and detained the actor in April, 2021 who was accused allegedly of sexual assault of a minor.

Mr Olanrewaju was brought into the premises of the magistrate court around 12 noon, and alongside other suspects.

The actor was limping and visibly shaking – an appearance which suggests a bad health condition.

Shortly after his arrival, he was arraigned before P.E Nwaka, a Magistrate at the Yaba magistrate court.

Reading out the charges against the actor, the court clerk listed five offences.

They include indecent treatment of a child, defilement of a Child, sexual assault by penetration, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault.

However, the actor pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

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Lawyer to the actor, Barrister Kayode Olabiran brought the case up to the magistrate court after his client could not complete the bail conditions court granted to the actor on May 17.

Court Proceeding on Baba Ijesha Case

Barrister Olabiran, supporting the bail application for his client explains that:

“On May 17, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, the NBA and the police took an initiate to decongest jam-packed cells across the State.

“My client was one of the beneficiaries and the conditions given are two sureties, one must be a blood relation and another surety not less than level 16 in the Lagos State government civil service.

“The elder brother to the defendant has appeared as a surety and we have paid the N500, 000 bail bond to the account of the Lagos State government but we have not been able to get level 16 officer to stand as surety,” Barrister Olabiran said.

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Speaking further, the lawyer said “The level 16 officers are afraid of being issued a query and a level 16 is an Assistant Director and upward, they are scarce commodities.

“We are applying for bail on a compassionate ground and in the interest of justice,” he said.

But, Mobolaji Owoebute-Okedeji, a counsel from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) opposed the bail appeal.

“The matter has been already filed at the High Court,” he said, giving a reason for his opposition.

Giving his position on the matter, the magistrate said he cannot grant the defendant bail because there are indications that the case will commence at the High court.

“I have carefully considered the application of the counsel to the defendant seeking bail for the defendant and the opposition by the counsel from the DPP.

“Since there are indications that the matter is before the high court and the defendant will appear before the court, no bail can be given.

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“The defendant must be accorded full medical attention by the authorities pending his arraignment at the high court,” the magistrate said.

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